For the second time in less than two years, the Ohio State forward suffered a broken left foot. The most recent incident came in mid-May, when he was suited up for an open gym session and landed on senior guard Jon Diebler's foot.
"It was just a fluke thing," Lighty said. "I stepped on Jon's foot in open gym. My foot was turned and I tried to plant off of it while it was turned. It was all that pressure on the side."
Undeterred, Lighty – who thought he had just injured his ankle – laced his shoes tighter and finished another game before open gym was concluded before heading to see the trainer. It was there, inside the Schottenstein Center, that the senior learned he had re-fractured the foot.
A player whose eternally positive attitude used to drive former teammate Evan Turner crazy, Lighty allowed himself a few seconds to wallow in sadness before putting it behind him.
"I was down for about 20 seconds, a little mad, but after that I was just going on with life," he said. "You can't do anything about it, so why whine about it?"
Aside from location, the two injuries are not related, Lighty said, and he is not at further risk for similar injuries down the road. Although he is not dwelling on the injury, Lighty said he is getting anxious to return to the court.
"It's starting to get to me now since I'm getting closer and closer to being back, but that's all you can do is handle it with a positive attitude," he said. "That's all I try to do."
The last time Lighty broke his foot, it came during the seventh game of his junior season. He finished the game with a team-high 21 points in an 81-68 victory against Jacksonville but suffered the injury in the waning moments of the contest.
The prognosis was that Lighty would miss six to 12 weeks of action. It proved to be the longer end of the spectrum, and he did not return that season as the Buckeyes dropped a first-round NCAA contest with Siena. Fully healthy as a junior, he averaged 12.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 36.3 minutes of action while starting all 37 games.
If not for that injury, Lighty would have exhausted his eligibility last season.
This time, Lighty should not miss any game action. He said he is on pace to be back in action sometime in August. On July 15, he wrote on his personal Twitter account that he was done with his crutches.
Diebler said he has been impressed with how Lighty has handled the situation.
"I think he's handling it a lot better than anyone else would've," he said. "That's got to be extremely frustrating. He stepped on my foot and I felt terrible. I couldn't imagine how he felt but I would've felt absolutely horrible. It was just a freak thing."
Said junior guard William Buford, "I didn't think anything was wrong because he kept playing. I thought he was fine. Then he went to the training room and they said his foot was broke. It was crazy."
According to Diebler, Lighty has not missed a team function this summer despite the injury. While the Buckeyes have been on the court, Lighty has been looking on from a seat while continuously dribbling a basketball.
"He's always going to do something to make himself better," Diebler said. "I think that's why he's such a great leader is because if you wanted to, he could say, ‘I'm hurt, I don't want to come,' but he knows how important it is to the freshmen and for himself to really set an example. I think it really sends a positive message to the younger guys."
Lighty said he is glad the injury happened when it did and not in the middle of his senior season.
"That would've been all bad if it would've happened during the season," he said. "Then I would've been all done."